DUI Checkpoints

It’s summertime.  It’s hot outside.  People are hanging out by the pool, grilling out, and many of us are having a few drinks along the way.  However, the police are also on high alert at this time of year for drunk driving and will often set up DUI checkpoints to make sure that our roads remain safe for everyone.  In order to be more prepared should you run into a DUI checkpoint, here are some some words of advice from Attorney Mario Massillamany.

First, let’s go over some of the basics of a DUI checkpoint.  At these checkpoints, officers are checking mainly for drivers who are impaired, but can look for anything suspicious.  At the checkpoints, officers will either check every vehicle or use some sort of pattern to stop some of the cars that pass through.  Some of the things officers might ask or do are ask to search your car, ask you to step out of your car, ask you to take field sobriety tests, or ask you take a chemical test to determine your BAC.  If the officer asks to search your car or to take field sobriety test, e.g. walk in a straight line or touch your nose, then you can refuse to consent.  However, if they ask you to step out of the car, then you need to comply with the request and step out, but ensure that you close and lock your door to protect your privacy as much as possible.  Lastly on this point, you should consent to a request for a chemical test of some sort, like a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test, because refusing to do so can result in consequences as bad as being convicted of a DUI.

Now for a few words on the law regarding checkpoints.  In a recent decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Miranda warnings are not required at DUI checkpoints.  This is because DUI checkpoints are not considered to be a custodial stop which is required to trigger Miranda warnings.  However, the Court did mention that there could be a set of circumstances that would result in a triggering of Miranda warnings at a DUI checkpoint stop.

Remember to always drink responsibly.  If you or someone you know has had an issue at a DUI checkpoint, be sure to get in contact with an attorney.  

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.


This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

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